This resource walks you through a systems practice, and describes process phases (Launch, Gain Clarity, Find Leverage, Act Strategically, and Learn and Adapt) and methods for guiding the practice.
This resource has been developed in collaboration with teams across The Omidyar Group. This workbook aims to fill the gap between the promise of a systems approach for making social change and putting it into practice. It was created alongside curriculum as part of a paid course.
For each method, results, actions, difficulty, time estimation, and tips are included.
This canvas guides policy makers to derive specific policies and regulatory mechanisms in an agile and iterative manner – integrating both design thinking and evidence based policy making. An associated White Paper provides background on the approach.
Ethnographic Experiential Futures, is a protocol for surfacing and documenting existing images of the future. It combines Ethnographic futures research, EFR, a protocol for surfacing and documenting existing images of the future. Experiential futures, XF, is a family of approaches for vivid multisensory, transmedia, and diegetic representations of images of the future. The hybrid approach puts together two modes of futures research and practice in a step-by-step guide. Its intent is to help groups develop a future-oriented mindset.
Familiarity with futures and foresight methods is strongly recommended.
A blog series introducing and sharing guidance for using different tools to support systems thinking and practice, including actor mapping, trend mapping, timeline mapping, ecocycle mapping, appreciative inquiry, and world cafe. Each offers a downloadable guide in exchange for an email address.
A collection of tools that describe how 18F digital service teams put human-centered design into practice. These cards are focused on design in the context of digital services, but can be adapted to non-technical design projects as well.
The resource is online and also available as printable cards.
The card set includes simplified information on various design methods according to an overall methodology: Discover, Decide, Make,Validate. There are also "Fundamentals" cards related to incentives, privacy, and recruiting, all of which are important for overall design projects.
Each card covers what, why, how, time required, and additional resources to learn more about the method. These are intended to be sequenced according to the needs of the project.
Some prior experience with the methods may be helpful for context.
The Design Kit resource is both a downloadable PDF as well as online guidance on the different phases of a human-centered design process, organised by Mindsets, Methods (Inspiration, Ideation, Implementation), and Tools. The PDF is only downloadable from the website after creating a user account at IDEO. Website includes instructional videos on the techniques of various user-centered design methods and techniques.
A community sourced set of best practices and principles to help incorporate human-centered design into a product development process.
The website contains dozens of methods organised by process, difficulty, time required, and outcomes. Each method contains an overview, detailed, steps, resources, and examples or cases.
The methods are framed in terms of private sector product or service development but can be adapted to a public sector context.
Kickbox is an innovation process that Adobe developed for its own use and then open-sourced so everyone can use it. It is both a process for individuals and a system for deploying that process across an organization at scale. It’s designed to increase innovator effectiveness, accelerate innovation velocity, and measurably improve innovation outcomes. It can also optimize innovation investments by reducing costs compared to traditional approaches. Adobe distributed 1000 physical boxes internally (each containing money for prototyping ideas) and have made the contents available for free download. The website and download contains facilitator instructions as well as instructions on how to create the original box and contents.
A hands-on resource that provides practical advice, guidance, and an 8-phase process from concept development to implementation for building an open government program, with each step referencing principles, lessons learned, case studies, and a checklist for determining whether you are at the right phase. This resource complements Open Government Partnership Action Plans and and was developed as part of a year-long project with the Mexican government.
The Gift-Giving Project is 90-minute (plus debrief) fast-paced project though a full design cycle, intended to give learners a tangible experience with design thinking. It is intended as a group activity (from 2 to 100+ participants) with a facilitator.
Learners pair up to interview each other, come to a point-of-view of how they might design for their partner, ideate, and prototype a new solution to "redesign the gift-giving experience" for their partner. The resource includes a handout, a facilitators guide, and video guidance for facilitators.
The resource is available in English, Spanish, French, German, Basque, Czech, Korean, Catalan, and Dutch.
The d.school offers a similar exercise, The Wallet Project, which is available in Chinese, Bulgarian, and Thai.
This resource is on an older archive version of the d.school website.
The GovLab's Public Problem Solving Canvas is an online interactive canvas based on twenty questions to create and develop your public interest project. These twenty questions are designed to help you refine your understanding of the problem and those whom it affects; express your Big Idea; and turn that idea into an actionable strategy in the real world to the end of improving people's lives.
This online interactive playbook is intended for teams to work better together in order to get things done. It is organised into Health Monitor (checks and activities for building team health), individual plays (filterable standalone activities), and game plans (series of plays for common use cases). The playbook organises the materials by project, service, and leadership team type, provides detailed instructions on how to run the plays and offers downloads of materials. Since many plays are adapted versions of other tools, licensing varies. However, many are licensed for reuse and further adaptation.
A Role-Playing and Ideation Game That Simulates The Process Of Launching A Social Enterprise. The game walks players through a series of activities in order to simulate the process of ideating and launching a social enterprise in four steps: Learn, Invent, Program, and Report. It is available via a pay-what-you-want digital download, and includes instructions for gameplay, a glossary of 200+ business models, and a suite of other resources.
This is a set of resources for designers who are approaching legal challenges with a creative, generative, human-centered approach. The toolbox provides guides, tools, and examples to help you scope & tackle these challenges with design. It includes a Legal Communication Design Toolbox, a Legal Design Pattern Library, and a Legal Product Typology. It covers policy prototyping, visual design, and data visualisation.
DemTools is a suite of free, open source software solutions developed by NDITech and distributed for supporting democracy building efforts around the world. The software includes contact management, issue tracking, crowdsourcing, election monitoring, open data, and petition development tools. These were built with the developing world in mind but can also be used in other contexts.
An associated DemTools Guide Book offers an overview of each of the suite of tools, including use cases, user consideration, technical specifications, security considerations, languages/translations, the type of support offered by the publisher, instructions for deploying and hosting the tools and case studies of the tools in practice.
The publisher also offers free and paid hosting service and technical support, but some resources and expertise will be required of the user for setup and ongoing maintenance of the tools.
Over a dozen years of use to date, the game represents an accessible approach to introducing "images of the future" as a basic property of both cultures and individuals, and can be used as an introduction for more advanced futures and foresight tools and frameworks. It provides a structure for facilitating conversation among groups of participants and intended for groups. Duration is flexible, but typically runs 30-60 minutes. The resource provides step-by-step guidance for how to run the game as well as the reasoning for how the game has evolved.
The Collective Action Toolkit (2nd edition) is a set of activities and methods that enables groups of people anywhere to organize, collaborate, and create solutions for problems affecting their community.
It guides users through methods according to six action areas, with suggested pathways from one method to the next. For each method, step-by-step instructions are given, in addition to the time, roles, and materials needed. Some methods include canvasses to guide activity.
The toolkit is available in English, Chinese, French, and Spanish.
A playbook of 13 key “plays” drawn from successful practices from the private sector and government that the publisher believes, if followed together, will help governments build effective digital services.
This resource aims to enrich the efforts of parliaments and their civil society counterparts to engage in collaborative processes, either as part of the Open Government Partnership National Action Plan or otherwise. The first section focuses on the development of open parliament commitments. The second section shares the experiences of a variety of parliaments and civil society organisations in collaborating in the creation of parliamentary openness commitments and in developing ongoing mechanisms for dialogue on openness. The final section shares some of the types of commitments that parliaments have made to become more open, accountable and engaging of citizens. It also lists additional resources that can be drawn upon to advance parliamentary openness.
The resource is available in English, Spanish, and French.
This canvas is a strategic design tool for developing descriptive models of transformative futures. It asks users to name the logics stabilizing the dominant regime — and then imagine how such logics might stabilize an alternative in terms of narratives, goals, core values, governance & practices, and physical inputs.
Requires email address in exchange for download.
The "Toolkit: Digital Government Urgency, Readiness and Maturity Assessment" helps public sector entities assess urgency for digital transformation and evaluate their organizational readiness and maturity. Respondents of the freely accessible survey receive a suggested prioritization for digital transformation initiatives in the near future, depending on their context, as well as indicative digital maturity levels. An email address is required in order to receive the report.
This is a curated collection of 30+ resources from Stanford d.school classes and workshops, including activities, tools, and how-to guides. They are intended for anyone who wants to become more familiar with design thinking or unlocking creative thinking in whatever challenge being tackled. Some are full-fledged workshops that for guiding others through. Other resources are short worksheet-based activities.
The resource contains tools for visualizing and anticipating future risk of technology products, acknowledging that once technology is released and reaches scale it may be used for purposes beyond the original intention. The toolkit contains foresight methods, including 14 scenarios, for kicking off important conversations with product teams--including examples of current signals of future trends. It also contains a Risk Mitigation Manual with 8 risk
zones where hard-to anticipate
and unwelcome consequences are most likely to emerge. Finally, it contains 7 suggested strategies for future-proofing.
Guide to service blueprinting. The reader analyses their own interaction with service users. Through the tools of personas, scenarios, and the decomposition of a scenario into a blueprint of its elements, the reader can understand and improve their services from a Human-Centred design person
This resource is focused on collaboration around designs for solving product problems, specifically on the topics of trust, transparency and control concerning the use of personal data. The methodology used was inspired by those from the Stanford d.school and IDEO. The toolkit is split into four sections – Plan, Discover, Ideate and Prototype.
The resource contains over 20 guided activities and supporting materials (including downloadable worksheets) covering materials for planning and running your own event, including one hour, half day, and full day example event agendas and facilitation plans.
It is intended for product managers, designers, developers, policy policy advisors, regulators, students, and others interested in opening up discussion about trust, transparency and control with a team, organisation, school or clients. It covers topics such as designing privacy statements, consent requests and other features which impact the perception of trust, transparency and control for product users.
This resource includes a method and guidance for developing and getting comfortable with storytelling to engage your audience and collaborators in your project. It includes an 8 step process to developing and creating a "sticky" story to inspire and persuade others into action. It includes a downloadable guide with examples and tips and tricks as well as a checklist for evaluating your story.
The U.S. Public Participation Playbook is a resource for government managers to evaluate and build better services through public participation using best practices and performance metrics.
Based on discussions with US Federal Government managers and stakeholders, the publishers identified five main categories that should be addressed in all programs, whether digital or offline. Within each category they identified 12 unifying plays to start with, each including a checklist to consider, resources and training. They also provide suggested performance metrics for each main category.
The Better Government Toolkit provides resources to build a better government through innovation. It focuses on four areas/verticals: Build a 21st Century Culture and Workforce, Improve Government Services Delivery, Solve Complex Problems, Collaborate with Innovators. It includes case studies within the United States Government. Each tool includes approach, actions and considerations, glossary of terms, related policies, and related resources.
This toolkit was developed to help us cope with the rapidly changing world, such as global networks and autonomous drone fleets—that have never existed before. The publishers suggest that we need new stories and new mythologies to tell us how these things fit into our lives and make sense of these transformations.
The toolkit contains a card deck exploring different colored "archetypes" or ways of making meaning and each includes different ways of understanding Interactions, Environments, Symbols,Design, Perspectives, and Voice.
Information and resources to guide United States federal employees working on challenges and prizes. It includes guidance on each challenge phase, from preparation to execution and also provides guidance on different types of challenges. It includes case studies and a list of resources for more detailed guidance and support.
This is a collection of tools for an Open Government Partnership communications team, including the OGP's tips on blogging, branding, talking points, press guide, etc.
While this is specifically created for Open Government Partnership partners, it it can be adapted for other public sector initiatives, services, or programs.
Authors Julie Wagner and Dan Watch draw from nearly 50 in-depth interviews with global-reaching and local-serving architects and innovation space managers to analyze the continuum of modern innovation-oriented workspaces. They find the role of well-designed innovation spaces in improving firm competitiveness, company culture, and the formulation of new products and ideas, offers important lessons for companies, universities and other drivers of the innovation economy on how to re-imagine space given three major trends in modern innovation. The report includes guidance for creating physical spaces for innovation and collaboration. The guide was intended for those interested in economic development but can be adapted for public sector innovation.
The term data collaborative refers to a new form of collaboration, beyond the public-private partnership model, in which participants from different sectors — including private companies, research institutions, and government agencies — can exchange data to help solve public problems.
This resource outlines 8 Phases for designing and implementing a data collaborative (partnership) at an institutional level. The online resource includes examples, enablers, tools, and resources for each phase.
Liberating Structures is a web resource that includes a collection of 33 results-oriented collaboration patterns have been developed and refined through field testing over a 10+ year period in a variety of sectors including healthcare and business.
They are intended to complement conventional practices for organisational design and strategy design. They are designed to be used in an inclusive collaborative setting.
Associated books (for sale) and video guidance is available to assist those getting started with this approach.
A collection of design patterns, or ‘gambits’, for influencing user behaviour through design. It’s applicable across product, service, interaction and architectural design, aimed particularly at socially and environmentally beneficial behaviour change. The patterns are drawn from a range of disciplines, and are phrased as questions or provocations to enable the toolkit’s use as both a brainstorming tool and a guide for exploring the field of design for behaviour change.
It includes cards, worksheets, and guidance, grouped into 8 lenses, which are disciplinary ‘worldviews’ or fields of research. A Brazilian Portuguese version is available. A how-to page provides tips for using the toolkit in a group facilitation setting.
This website and blog containing a toolkit based on the book GameStorming (not free) and intends to bring a playful or game-like atmosphere to group problem solving activities for the purpose of creating an mindset conducive to innovation and change-making. The site contains games for different purposes, including vision and strategy, planning, problem-solving, and decision-making.
The online resources describe each method and technique in terms of: Object of Play, Number of Players, Duration of Play, Material Required, Step by Step instructions and, in some cases, videos.
This playbook shares lessons the publisher has learned while working with vulnerable populations as they access digital services, with the aim of improving access and awareness to those services.
This playbook is for nonprofits, community-based organizations, and governments who serve people who are eligible for government safety-net and criminal justice services, people with low incomes, and people in contact with the justice system.
It includes guidance in the form of principles and best practices for digital outreach to vulnerable populations.
The guide offers practical guidance to local government officials on how to build a culture and practice of innovation and give local leaders an action-oriented framework for breakthrough
innovation. It lays out nine “Imperatives” towards this end, with concrete action steps for each to help cities get started, along with illustrative case studies.
This resource focuses on inclusive design, a methodology that enables and draws on the full range of human diversity, including those with limited abilities. The resource includes a guide on inclusive design, multiple short-films and a 20-minute documentary, as well as activity cards that follow 5 phases of a design process.
The Design Process Mini-Guide is five-page document outlining a design process taught at the Stanford d.school. The school gives this resource to students after a short design experience, to help solidify the takeaways and abstract the experience to useful framework. The publishers suggest using the document in conjunction with an action-oriented design experience, such as their related Gift Giving Project and Wallet Project. This resource is on an older archive version of the d.school website. The resource is also available in Spanish.
This is a report produced in conjunction with IDEO after a 2-year initiative of the Rockefeller Foundation called Paper Prototyping, an effort to better inform investment decisions of the Foundation. While this resource is not a typical innovation toolkit, it was included because it describes an often implicit and invisible process of developing and testing proposals for innovative solutions to complex problems.
Pixar’s Rules of Storytelling provide guidance on developing and telling a good story, an important skill for building consensus around a new idea or project.
The goal of this resource is to elicit conversation, encourage risk evaluation as a team, and catalyze proactive mitigation strategy planning around algorithm use in the public sector. It includes assessments and worksheets for assessing algorithm risk and managing algorithm risk. The publishers assume users have an understanding of their data and a basic understanding of algorithms.
This resource describes open government good practices and presents them to encourage further adoption and innovation. The publisher's goal is to help government reformers and civil society partners in improving the quality and output of co-creation processes across the Open Government Partnership (OGP). The resource was created to aid OGP partners but is applicable to others interested in open government.
The Toolkit contains content organised in a Question & Answer format, a matrix of participation and co-creation standards, and a map of 100 case studies from 39 countries.
This resource covers five key roles in a public innovation ecosystem: Problem Solver, Enabler, Motivator, Convener, and Integrator. For public administrations wanting to make an impact on a societal challenge, it helps identify where to start, and how the administration fits in with other actors already focused on the same or similar challenges. By understanding which of these five roles to assume when launching an initiative, organisations may be able to more effectively deploy their resources, partner with other organizations, and reduce redundancies. The resource is based on an examination of innovation initiatives in the United States, but may be applied elsewhere.
A platform for researchers to share findings and methodologies and a repository of theoretical and applied research on open and innovative governance techniques and tools.
A platform for researchers to share findings and methodologies;
A repository of theoretical and applied research on open and innovative governance techniques and tools;
A diversity of publication types – from research reports and journal articles to books and dissertations;
A taxonomy for browsing research by type of innovation, objective, region, sector or tool;
The ability to submit new research for inclusion on the site; and
A community for those interested and committed to studying the impact of governance innovations and a place for those with research questions to connect to those with projects to study.
This guide is for people at 18F (a United States Federal Government technology transformation agency) who are wondering what to expect from a product manager on their team, as well as for product managers and those filling that role to understand what their team expects from them. This guide also serves as a resource for product management best practices at 18F. This guide could be used in other governments looking for product management guidance.
The resource addresses the use of financial prizes to source solutions to challenges. It draws on academic literature, interviews with analysts and practitioners, surveys of prize sponsors and competitors, databases of small and large awards, and case studies of 12 effective prizes to produce lessons from a range of sectors, goals, and prize types. It provides frameworks and recommendations to help improve current prizes and stimulate effective future use. While it is targeted to philanthropic sponsors, be can also be helpful to governments considering this approach.
The resource is intended for those working in the international development or social impact space to assesses the future impact that innovation can deliver in a system. It focuses on three "systems": The Problem Space, The Innovation Space, The Context.
It's goals are to precipitate better understanding of the problem of focus and the context in which it exists, assess enablers and barriers
to innovation, track system change over time, and assess the impact of a program ex post facto. It includes tools and methods organised into different possible "journeys" that define overall related activities, resources, user values and timelines.
The IIDM Toolset was designed as a guide for organisations and individuals seeking to build the capacity of problem solvers to innovate and collaborate more effectively. The Toolset addresses two key components: (1) cultivating an innovator’s mindset, and (2) improving the processes that support decision making along the journey from idea to impact. The publisher asserts that both of these ingredients are vital for decision making to yield improved innovation. The Toolset offers users practical approaches that map to each of the 6 stages of decision making, including adopting the right mindset, generating insights, reframing challenges, developing and testing new ideas, and determining a course of action. The resource was created with a global development organisation structure in mind but is broadly applicable to other organisations interested in building innovation capacity.
The Toolkit helps government employees use crowdsourcing and citizen science in their work. It provides five basic process steps for planning, designing and carrying out a crowdsourcing or citizen science project. It also includes a case study library of this process in practice as well as citizen science-related resources (examples, background information, journal articles, tools).
These methods were developed for United States Government staff but could also be used by other governments and organisations interested in engage the public in their work and collect data that might otherwise be beyond their reach.
The US Government supports this work with an associated internal community of practice.
This guidance contains 13 implementation plans laying out practical ways to address corruption. It is divided into 6 issue areas, each with an overview of the problem as well as solutions. The plans emerged from “Smarter Crowdsourcing Anti-Corruption” (2017). The Smarter Crowdsourcing method is an agile process, which begins with problem definition followed by online sourcing of global expertise to surface innovative ideas and then turns them into practical implementation plans. This guidance includes case studies of this process in practice.
An A/B test measures and compares the effectiveness of different versions of a program feature, service, or communication. This interactive tool helps users prepare for A/B tests, create random assignments of users to A or B, and helps users analyse which was more successful. The publishers suggest that this approach can be used by governments to optimize outreach materials, communications and engagement, program features, and processes (e.g., applications, payments).
An introduction to service design for public servants, and a set of practical ways to include design methods in your work. This resource was developed for the City of New York but is relevant to other cities, governments, and innovation labs as well.
The Government Innovators Network is a collection of ideas and examples of government innovation for policymakers, policy advisors, and practitioners. It contains news, articles, reports, descriptions of award-winning innovative programs, and events as well as online communities of practice. The publisher's goal is to stimulate new ideas and bring people and ideas together around innovations in government for the purpose of stimulating discourse on the principles and practices of innovation and democracy.
Registration is required to access full content and community features.
The publishers describe the PD concept as: based on the observation that in every community or organization, there are a few individuals or groups whose uncommon but successful behaviors and strategies have enabled them to find better solutions to problems than their neighbors who face the same challenges and barriers and have access to same resources.
This resource orients newcomers to the Positive Deviance (PD) approach and provide the essential tools to get started. It includes a brief description of basic definitions, as well as the guiding principles, steps, and process characteristics. This guide also includes suggestions of when to use the PD approach, facilitation tips, and outlines possible challenges. The publishers suggest that PD is best understood through action and is most effective through practice.
The resource includes principles and step-by-step guidance. It is available in English, French, and Indonesian.
This playbook describes 10 "plays" organised around
designing the job, finding the right people, and guiding applicants. Each play includes guiding steps and examples.
This resource is an imagination game that challenges players to collaboratively and competitively describe objects from a range of alternative futures. The object of the game is to come up with the most entertaining and thought-provoking descriptions of hypothetical objects from different near-, medium-, and long-term futures. The card deck can be downloaded and printed and contains cards, instructions, playsheets, and blank cards that you can customize with your own content. The website also contains suggested ways to play the game as well as examples.
This toolkit is for officials and staff at governments and institutions that are interested in launching a participatory budgeting process. Its purpose is to build understanding of what it takes to start a participatory budgeting process and how to lay a foundation for success.
It answers the questions:
How does a typical PB process work?
What are the impacts of PB?
What budgets can be used for PB?
What staffing and other resources are needed to implement PB?
How do I get started?
A collection of code, tools, and case studies to help United States federal agencies adopt the Open Data Policy and unlock the potential of government data.
This project is meant to be a living document, so that collaboration in the open data ecosystem is fostered, and the continual update of technology pieces that affect update can happen at a more rapid pace. Edits to the content may be made by anyone.
It could provide other governments with examples and starter content for its own open data policies.
This resource contains tools around specific design methods and techniques, including facilitation, ideation, and synthesis. Some contain step-by-step guidance and guidance on the method while others are standalone canvases/worksheets.
This resource contains a method library and playbook for commonly used strategic foresight tools, organised by a guiding framework of five planning phases (perspective, opportunity, solution, team, and vision). While it does contain the tools themselves, the resource also contains extensive guidance on each method, including overall guidance, examples, instructions, insights, tips, and tool templates. It also contains overall guiding principles, underlying theories, and considerations for using and sequencing the methods as an integrated methodology. This resource is extensive but organised and navigable. It is oriented toward a growth-focused private sector context but can be adapted for use in the public sector. The resource can be downloaded for free or purchased as a physical copy.